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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: More Than French Toast
By Donna Powers


French toast is a pretty silly thing to fight about.

But that's what they’d fought about, this morning. Cindy and Doug had been married for just two months, and she'd felt so blessed by his loving disposition. When he'd told her during their first breakfast that he loved her french toast, she’d made it again the next day. When Doug hadn't said anything about it, she'd just kept on making it.

But this morning, he’d suddenly barked, "Honestly, Cindy, for once could we have something different than french toast?"

She was stunned at his anger. "But Doug, you said you loved my french toast."

"Sure, I loved it. Two months ago. Is that the only thing you can make?"

Cindy had to defend herself. “I can make other things. But you never told me you wanted something different."

"You never asked, did you?" he snapped. "We've had the same breakfast for two months now. Buy some eggs or something, OK?"

Cindy blinked back sudden tears. "If you wanted eggs, all you had to do is ask."

He’d glowered at his uneaten breakfast. "Well, now I’ve asked. Get some eggs. I don’t want the same thing, every day. I’m going to work." He stomped out to his car, without another word.

Cindy didn’t understand. It didn't matter so much about the French toast; it was his anger. It saddened her that they'd now had their first tiff, but she knew every couple had their arguments. After adding eggs to her grocery list, she'd driven to work.

Cindy was determined not to let it affect her mood, so she said a brief prayer and let it go. She and Doug loved each other. They’d work it out.

It was a typical day at the bank, and Cindy buried her concern under the routine of work.

About 10, Jana told her that a drive-through customer wanted to talk to her.

“Why would someone from drive-through want to talk to me?” she asked.

Jana just smiled. “I think you’d better go. I’ll take over your line.”

When Cindi looked out the window, she laughed and blushed. Doug was standing outside his car with a bouquet of flowers, his guitar and a note that said, “please come outside.”

“What are you doing here?” she mouthed.

“Please,” he mouthed back.

“Hold on, “ she gestured. A minute later, she was standing in the parking lot. Doug began to strum the guitar and sing to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine”:

“You are my sweetheart,
My precious sweetheart
I am so sorry
I yelled at you.
If you’ll forgive me,
I’ll be so happy.
And if you won’t
I’ll be so blue.”

She heart swelled and she laughed, through happy tears. “Doug, I can’t believe you came down here and did all this about a little tiff over french toast.”

”It’s not about french toast. And it’s not little, to me. It’s about the way I acted. Let me explain.”

She walked closer. He continued: “Before my parents got divorced, they fought all the time. It was like they saved their anger from one argument to begin the next one.”

“I love my parents, but I can’t forget all those years of arguments, “ he said. He put the guitar down, extended the bouquet and smiled. “I love you, and I love your french toast. When you made it a few days in a row, I kept quiet, because I was afraid of starting an argument. I couldn’t stand the thought of that. But it built up, until this morning. Please, forgive me”

What else could she say? Here was her answer to prayer. “Of course I forgive you - and I love you, too. It would take more than french toast to make me stay mad at you,” Cindi assured him. She took the bouquet. “It’s OK to tell me things like that.

Doug went on, “I just want to make sure we settle this now; so our arguments won’t build up and become the pattern of our lives. I don’t want it hanging over the rest of our day.”

She hugged him. “Doug, thanks for telling me. And thanks for the flowers. I do forgive you and we’ll talk more after dinner.” She smelled the flowers and smiled. Just as she turned to go, his voice stopped her.

“About dinner…” he began.

She laughed, anticipating his next words. “Don’t worry. It won’t be chicken parmesan, again.”

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This article has been read 722 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart01/10/08
Great illustration of nipping a problem in the "bud." Good job with dialogue.
Patty Wysong01/10/08
LoL. There's a few meals my husband will only eat under protest because I made them soooo much in our first months of marriage. :) Good lesson for all of us! :) Hugs!
James Clem 01/11/08
I like the ending. Good marital training and a very real example.
BTW - I was amused how Cindy's name change to Cindi midway through. :-)
Sara Harricharan 01/11/08
Heehee, I had to smile at the last line. I'm glad that they were able to work things out and it wasn't just one of them tip-toing around and worrying about upsetting the other. Great job here. ^_^
Dee Yoder 01/11/08
Good story and with a great point. I like the way you explain that the husband's anger had more than just frustration over french toast behind it. That's usually so true in any relationship.
LauraLee Shaw01/12/08
I love that you used a scenario that many of us could relate to. Not just anybody can take a situation like this and make it interesting, but you pulled it off from beginning to end.
Joanne Sher 01/13/08
A great lesson - and I just LOVE the last line. Gave me a giggle.

Some of the dialog seemed a bit forced, but it could be me.

The hubby is definitely a keeper. Keep writing!
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/13/08
I really enjoyed this story of taking the right steps at the beginning for a successful marriage. Well done.
dub W01/15/08
Nice story. A very enjoyable read, although the plot is a bit unrealistic perhaps - hopefully it wouldn't take months of French Toast - but in 700 words we do what we have to...thanks for the story.